Peer Pressure – Then and Now

Peer Pressure – Then and Now

Anyone that grew up in the 70’s – probably has a distinct memory of what “Peer Pressure” was.

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It was normally referenced as a warning to kids not to let the “bad seeds” influence them into doing nefarious things.

What we recall the most was usually drugs or other detrimental activities that could cause some kind of harm (physical or emotional).

“Try this cigarette, they’re awesome!”

“Oh, I had some beers last week – what a buzz!”

“Look at this sexy magazine I found!”

“Hey, jump off this tall ledge – don’t be a sissy! You won’t get hurt!”

This was all before technology – and usually involved a singular act or acts.

The job of parents was to lecture their offspring about what might happen if they fall victim to peer pressure – and hopefully some good lessons about how to be strong-willed individuals. Didn’t work out much of the time. Kids typically learned the hard (painful) way – but it made the lesson stick.

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Today? Peer pressure is more indirect – and actually worse!

Sure, the same kinds of old-school peer pressures still exist – but nowadays – there are different and more subtle and indirect ways to pressure others.

Mostly when it comes to technology and social media.

Instead of drugs or other risky dumb things – ALL people, not just kids – are being “peer pressured” into joining popular mobs or movements. The latest tech trends are near the top of the list.

“You gotta check out Tinder – awesome hookups!”

“Take a selfie off the top of this building! Planking!”

“Dude, Tik Tok is so fun! Ha ha!”

“Man, if you don’t play Fortnite, you’re missing out!”

That’s one of the keys. Missing out. Or the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) that is pressuring people all over the world.

These days, whatever becomes popular, “pressures” people into engaging. And by engaging, they are now mindlessly dedicating enormous amounts of (valuable) time with something that very well may be gone in a heartbeat (hello, MySpace, or other long-gone technologies).

peer pressure fear of missing out FOMO - Peer Pressure - Then and Now

Envy and Peer Pressure closely related

With everyone broadcasting their every (positive) move these days – envy has also become a form of peer pressure. Usually in the form of superficial things.

Like cars, or gear, or other “stuff.”

Same with your physical appearance. Some broad might take 100 selfies before she gets the perfect ass-shot in their Lulu Lemon yoga pants – and the next thing you know, dozens of ladies “have to have those awesome pants!”

So FOMO, Envy, Peer Pressure – all exist quite powerfully today. At least for those who allow it.

We say avoid the social mobs altogether – and avoid scanning social timelines of others. They were designed to be addictive on purpose, and they usually leave most people feeling crappy. Even if they are at the top of the social totem pole in their circles – that hollow feeling will come back to bite them eventually, when they get knocked off.

Never feel pressured into doing anything – and be on the lookout for ways you’re being subconsciously pressured without knowing it.

Have a nice weekend!

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